Home » Archive by category "Dog Health" (Page 2)

Are you Using Dog Treats Correctly?

Three common problems in canine households include pet obesity, excessive begging, and bad behavior based on poor boundaries.  Before you blame your dog (or its metabolism), ask yourself whether your use of dog treats is to blame. Proper Use of Dog Treats The main reason dog treats exist is because dogs learn best with reward-based training.  Since dogs also have voracious appetites, food as a reward is the most logical choice when it comes to training.  In fact, any time a dog is given a reward, be it food, attention, or affection, the pet will repeat any behaviors that preceded the treat or belly rub.  Proper treat use means only giving a dog a reward when it has been earned.  For instance, your dog may receive a treat for sitting and shaking on command, or for peacefully going into his or her crate.  Benefits of proper use of treat include:...
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Should I Clean my Dog’s Food and Water Bowls?

An often overlooked aspect of pet ownership is hygiene.  While you are likely to bathe your dog when required, do you pay attention to the cleanliness of your pet’s everyday items?  A recent study performed by the National Institute of Health found that your dog’s food and water bowls were among the dirtiest objects in the entire household.  Tips for cleaning your dog’s food and water dishes are described here. The Importance of Daily Cleaning When your dog uses her food and water bowls, she leaves behind saliva and food particles that are full of bacteria.  This environment is often the perfect breeding ground for germs such as E. Coli, Salmonella, and the pink slime caused by Serratia Marcesens.  Not only can these bacteria spread to human residents in the household, but dogs that are in close contact with bacteria may develop diseases such as pneumonia. Just as you would...
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Is Doga Right for You and Your Dog?

If you practice yoga at home, chances are you have performed dog yoga without even realizing!  You may have found that your dog is ostensibly drawn to your yoga mat, or can’t resist the urge to lick your face while you pose in Downward Dog.  Did you know there is a yoga style, doga, which can be performed with your pup? What is Doga? Dog yoga is designed to be a fun activity for both dog and human.  While the workout is certainly different than would be received during a traditional yoga class, it is a great way to bond with your pet.  During doga, meditation, massage, and stretching are all part of a common routine.  You might help your dog achieve certain stretches, or even use your pet as a prop for poses. How is Doga Performed? For new dog yoga practioners, a book, DVD, or online videos  are the...
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Hidden Danger for Dogs: Xylitol

One of the most toxic substances for dogs has only surfaced in recent years, thanks to the health-conscious minds of today’s consumers.  A particularly scary aspect of this ingredient is that it is not always listed on a food’s label, and can appear in unlikely sources.  Everything you need to know about xylitol and the dangers it poses to your dog is discussed here. What is Xylitol? Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that adds sweetness to food without the calories or insulin-spike of sugar.  It is commonly added to sugar-free or “diet friendly” foods in order to make these items more palatable.  In addition, xylitol is less likely to cause side effects in humans, such as gastrointestinal upset, which is commonly experienced with sweeteners such as sorbitol. Which Foods Contain Xylitol? The most common sources of xylitol are sugar-free gum, breath fresheners, toothpaste, and most recently, certain brands of peanut...
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Preparing Your Dog For Winter

With Halloween just around the corner, the first signs of colder weather are upon us.  For your dog, this means opportunities to play in the snow and chase snowballs, while for you the winter will require a change in routine.  Tips for keeping your dog safe are listed below. Indoor Dog Coat Unless your dog is a northern breed such as an Akita or Siberian Husky, chances are that she will need an extra layer of protection when outdoors.  Small dogs and shorthaired breeds should wear a sweater or water-resistant jacket when temperatures are below freezing. Booties Snow, ice, and salt can all cause discomfort for your dog.  If your pet is a puppy or has sensitive paws, consider purchasing booties from the pet store that will provide an extra layer of protection. Pet-Safe Salt Dogs can experience burns and irritation to their mouths when licking road salt from their...
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Apple Cider Vinegar: A Natural Remedy for Dogs

During your dog’s life, you are likely to run into problems such as itchy skin, fleas and ticks, ear infections, or digestive distress.  These ailments are common among pets, but are also preventable.  One common remedy and preventative is raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (ACV), which can be purchased at any health food store.  The recommended uses of ACV for dogs are discussed below. Skin Allergies Dogs can develop skin irritation from any number of common allergens, including grass, pollen, dust, and even their food.  Unlike humans, dogs do not display allergic reactions in localized areas, rather, their entire bodies will become itchy and irritated.  ACV can help soothe irritation when applied directly to the skin and coat.  Simply dilute 1 part ACV with 1 part water, and combine in a spray bottle.  Spray your pet (avoiding broken skin) for fast-acting relief. Fleas and Ticks Not all dogs can...
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Pros and Cons of Pet Health Insurance

Veterinary care can be expensive, especially when emergency situations arise.  For this reason, more pet owners are choosing to insure their pets with a health insurance policy, one that can cover the cost of both emergency and routine care.  Here, pet health insurance is explained, as well as the benefits and disadvantages of insuring your dog. What is Pet Health Insurance? Health insurance for dogs is similar to that for humans.  After choosing an appropriate policy based on deductible and coverage, as well as age, sex, and breed of your dog, a monthly premium is paid to the company.  In return, the company may cover the cost of accidents, provide monetary damages should your pet become lost or stolen, and reimburse you for the majority of medical bills.  These policies are most helpful when major accidents or illnesses arise. What are the Benefits of Insurance? The major benefit of having...
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10 Most Poisonous Plants for Dogs

Indoor and outdoor plants are common in most homes thanks to improved air quality and aesthetically pleasing colors and shapes.  However, many common houseplants are poisonous to pets, and should be kept out of reach of animals.  Some of the most poisonous plants – along with their symptoms – are described below. Aloe Vera Aloe is typically kept in the kitchen as a quick, natural remedy in case of burns.  However, if your dog happens to eat a leaf of this plant, beware that he or she will experience gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting and diarrhea. Autumn Crocus Not to be confused with the spring crocus variety which is only mildly toxic to pets, the Autumn Crocus is poisonous and can lead to vomiting, bleeding in the GI tract, organ failure, and respiratory distress. Azalea These pretty pink flowers are extremely toxic to dogs, and even the ingestion of one...
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5 Supplements for Dogs Found in Any Kitchen

Food has long been considered medicine in many cultures, but only recently have physicians and veterinarians begun to study the effects of foods on humans and dogs in the United States.  Some of the best cures for common canine ailments are likely already in your kitchen cupboard.  Five of the best foods for dogs – and their uses – are described below. Turmeric This bright yellow spice has been shown slow down the proliferation of cancer cells in both humans and dogs.  The effect is so powerful that when used in conjunction with chemotherapy cancer cell growth can be stopped completely.  Turmeric also has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain in pets, as well.  One way to provide turmeric to your pet is through a paste, which can be made by bringing 2 cups of water to a boil with ½ cup of turmeric powder.  After the water and...
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Which Situations Does Your Pet Require Emergency Treatment?

As a new pet owner, you may be unfamiliar with which situations are medical emergencies requiring immediate treatment and which can wait until the following day.  Since emergency vet visits are expensive, it is important to know which situations are dire emergencies and which are not.  Discussed here are a handful of common problems a new pet owner may face. My Dog Is… Vomiting Vomiting in itself is not a cause for immediate concern.  If your dog is attempting to vomit but cannot produce anything in conjunction with having a very bloated stomach, you should seek immediate medical attention for your pet, as Bloat may be to blame.  However, if your dog is throwing up but acting normal otherwise and the vomit does not contain traces of blood, pet owners are advised to wait 24 hours to see if symptoms subside before scheduling an appointment. Has Diarrhea Dogs are prone...
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